Nocum is no offensive fluke, helps Painters rout Fuel masters

Rain or Shine rookie Adrian Nocum.–PBA IMAGES

ANTIPOLO CITY—As much as he yearns to improve his game further, Adrian Nocum is also surprised with how he’s been playing as a rookie in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).

“I guess my hard work is already paying off,” Nocum told the Inquirer in Filipino after going for 28 points in putting Rain or Shine in the Philippine Cup win column at the expense of Phoenix, 100-85, at Ynares Center here on Sunday.

Nocum was key in the Elasto Painters ending a 0-4 start in the all-Filipino tournament, helping erase a nine-point second quarter deficit with layups in transitions and most notably his outside shooting which saw the Mapua University product knock down five threes.

His performance continued an impressive rookie campaign, and the second-round pick who completed his duties for San Juan in the MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) is turning out to be another solid offensive weapon for coach Yeng Guiao.

READ: PBA: Adrian Nocum shrugs off career-high in OT loss to Meralco

Known for embracing physicality while playing the wing position, Nocum is putting up good numbers offensively. He also owns a season-high 30-point effort in one of those earlier losses.

“My mindset has always been on playing defense, and I consider whatever offensive production I would do as a bonus,” he said. “But now, I’m able to make my outside shots.”

It’s a good way for Rain or Shine to welcome the two-week break for the All-Star festivities and the Lenten season. But Nocum will have a shorter respite since he’ll be part of the PBA contingent in the City of Smiles to play in the Rookies, Sophomores, Juniors Game.

Appearing in the game for the future stars of the league may likely be a good platform for Nocum to showcase his potential.

But there’s always room for improvement, which Nocum and Guiao acknowledge.

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“He becomes a bigger threat if he’s making his three-point shots,” Guiao said. “Today, he made enough three-point shots for him to be able to also balance his offense, getting good at drives and layups. INQ


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